Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services, and Land Use: Comparing Three Federal Policies
AbstractNatural ecosystems provide a variety of benefits to society, known as “ecosystem services.” Fundamental to the provision of ecosystem services in a region is its underlying biodiversity, i.e., the wealth and variety of plants, animals, and microorganisms. Because the benefits from ecosystem services and biodiversity are not valued in market exchanges, private landowners tend to undersupply them. We compare and contrast the different approaches taken to providing ecosystem services on private land in three federal programs—the Endangered Species Act, the Conservation Reserve Program, and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) places restrictions on land uses for private landowners if endangered species, or critical habitats for endangered species, are found on their properties. The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) compensates farmers for removing valuable property from agricultural production to preserve wildlife habitat, water and soil quality, and other ecosystem values. Section 404 of the Clean Water Act prohibits destruction or damage to wetlands, unless individuals buy credits for equivalent wetlands created by third parties—so-called “wetlands mitigation banks.” These three policies run the gamut from a command-and-control regulatory approach to a “payment for ecosystem services” option. We summarize the economics literature on key findings from these programs.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-12-08.
Date of creation: 21 Feb 2012
Date of revision:
biodiversity; critical habitat; conservation; green infrastructure; payment for ecosystem services; public goods; wetlands mitigation;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics
- Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
- Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water
- Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2012-03-08 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2012-03-08 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENV-2012-03-08 (Environmental Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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